Michael van Dongen
Michael van Dongen is a violinist, conductor, teacher, and arranger. He earned a Bachelor of Music Degree at McMaster University in Hamilton. Michael has been a member of the Niagara Symphony since 1995, playing in the first violin section. Since August of 2008, he has been a member of the World Rock Symphony Orchestra performing rock music from Britain, at the Fallsview Casino in the Avalon Theatre as well as an arena tour in Ontario. He has also performed in orchestras backing up Anne Murray, Smokey Robinson, and Wayne Newton. Michael, with his two brothers and father form the group called the “van Dongen string quartet,” which has been performing since 1979. Michael is equally devoted to teaching and has been with the Niagara Youth Orchestra since 1997. He has been the conductor of the Junior Niagara Youth Orchestra since the 2008/09 season. In 1994, Michael began teaching with Niagara Elementary Instrumental Music in the District School Board of Niagara, as an Itinerant Music Instructor, where he was the conductor of three string orchestras. In the year 2000, Michael started a fiddle group called “No Strings Attached.” The fiddle group, which plays mainly Celtic music, has performed on many stages including the Starlight Café in Walt Disney World, the Old Triangle in Halifax, and in July of 2008, alongside “No Strings Attached High” (formed in 2006,) on a floating stage at Illuminauqua in Welland.